Whistler Secondary is maybe the only high school in all of Canada to offer a flexible timetable to students in high performance athletics. At the same time, Whistler students consistently rank among the top in the province when it comes to academics, whether its standardized tests or making the provincial honour roll.
Those are just a few of the reasons why André Janyk is passionate about her job as a Whistler school trustee for School District 48. She has served on the board of trustees for the past nine years, and is running once again in the Nov. 19 civic elections.
Don Brett, who also served as a Whistler trustee, is stepping down.
"Ive decided to not seek re-election and the primary reason for that is I had difficulty balancing the time demands of the job with the other aspects of my life," said Brett.
"Ive really enjoyed the experience and found it challenging and interesting and I think that the current state of the district is quite good. Weve got some great momentum in a variety of areas. The district has vastly improved its planning and goal setting process with the result that we have a much more cohesive team now and we are more effectively working towards our goals."
But that is not to say there arent challenges for the future said Brett.
"The boards time is limited and identifying priorities and those areas in which board activity can have a positive effect on learning outcomes is a significant challenge, but I think the key is to take a look at the initiatives underway and continue to support them."
Said Janyk: "I was actually thinking about not running this year, but when Don told me he wasnt I decided to run again. I do believe its important to have some continuity in the district from the Whistler area, and feel theres some really positive things going on important to the ongoing fostering of excellence at Whistler Secondary."
With the teachers union officially on strike, and engaged in work-to-rule job action at schools, it wont be easy at the school board. However, Janyk says its not the first time shes served as trustee during a strike.
"Education always presents its challenges, whether its some change in direction or policy, a change of minister, or a change in the teachers position in relation to the Ministry of Education," she said. "In a way thats part of the excitement, part of the fun is meeting those challenges, and keeping the students needs at the forefront of your thinking, and doing whats best for the kids."